FACT presents new pop-up exhibitions with strong community links
Exhibitions at FACT, Liverpool
Trace Elements by Simon Mckeown: 4 March – 3 April 2016
Scouse Roots: Art That Makes Itself a Brown & Son Project: 8 April – 1 May 2016
This spring, a special programme of pop-up exhibitions will be showcased in the FACT Connects space, in the foyer at FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology). FACT Connects is a wide-ranging programme, which engages with members of the community, and allows FACT to connect even more with artists, musicians, and makers. The first two FACT Connects exhibitions of 2016 will explore perspectives on disability and empowerment, as well as delving into Liverpool’s position as a catalyst for digital innovation.
4 March – 3 April 2016
Trace Elements by renowned international artist and technology expert Simon Mckeown will invite visitors to explore the mind blowing world of 3D projection mapping, shadow puppetry, and engage with art which considers disability through collaboration.
In 2015, Mckeown created Cork Ignite; a new commission and large-scale live event using six of Europe’s largest outdoor projectors to present a huge artwork in Cork city centre. The project was developed through a series of workshops with people of different ages and with different needs, exploring the perception and production of art which considers disability.
Mckeown based his artwork on the outcomes of these workshops, using traditional techniques such as shadow puppetry, combined with contemporary methods of projection mapping. Trace Elements at FACT will provide an insight into the collaborative process through behind-the-scenes videos and local news footage from the event, and invite the public to try out shadow puppetry for themselves in the FACT Connects space. There will also be a two-part projection mapping workshop held at FACT, bringing together participants from FACT’s community groups to learn to create and project their own artwork onto a surface in the space, and later onto Ropewalks Square..
On 1 April, coinciding with Trace Elements, there will also be a free event in the Box hosted by FACT and local partners to discuss arts, disability and collaborative practice. The event will explore the city’s current work with disabled artists, participants and communities, and will present work including exhibitions by Simon Mckeown and Brown & Son, as well as guest speakers from across the local arts, culture, healthcare and community settings.
Scouse Roots: Art that makes itself
8 April – 1 May 2016
Scouse Roots: Art that makes itself is a new show by Liverpudlian father and son artist duo Paul and Daniel Brown, telling the story of the artists’ roots in the city, and Liverpool’s influence on digital creativity generally. Coincidentally Daniel is disabled and the exhibition will explore empowerment through digital design in computer based and generative art from two generations.
Although the visual appearance of the two artists’ work is very different, the tools and processes they use are similar. Both rely on computer code to create their work and inhabit a role somewhere between artist, designer, and engineer, working with logic and mathematics to generate their artworks. They have exhibited widely, and both earned international reputations for their pioneering work in the algorithmic arts.
The exhibition at FACT will explore the history of digital art by showcasing several of Brown & Son’s early artworks, including pieces made while in residence in Liverpool. By also showing more recent pieces, the exhibition will illustrate the continually advancing possibilities for technologically developed artwork, and how artists work with computers to explore their ideas. This way, the exhibition will look at how Paul’s ground-breaking media based practice has expanded into the pieces Daniel creates now.
Daniel’s stunning pieces not only embody the advances in the technology artists now have access to, but are also testament to the empowering potential of digital technology. In 2003, Daniel was involved in an accident that left him severely paralysed, and he sees digital technology as a tool for empowerment and access. In the book Art That Makes Itself: Brown & Son (2015), Dan explains: “I had partial use of my arms, but could not move my fingers. I could no longer hold a pencil: I could no longer use a brush. But thanks to modern digital technology and simple adaptations of my workspace I could still use a computer. And above all else, I could still write computer programs.”
The exhibition will also showcase documentary work relating to other pioneers of code art, illustrating the city’s and North West Region’s contribution to the field, both in the UK and internationally. As Brown & Son had a close relationship to the late Roy Stringer, who was one of the early pioneers of the digital media industry, former Chairman at FACT, and the creative visionary who set up Amaze, the exhibition also has special significance to FACT.